200 turn out for National Night Out

August 06, 1997


Staff Writer

BOONSBORO - About 200 people gathered Tuesday evening in Shafer Memorial Park for National Night Out activities sponsored by the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman said he was pleased by the turnout, but he added that the program had help: Town officials read a proclamation praising the efforts of the South Mountain Little League All-Star team.

"You honor kids, that's going to bring people out," Kauffman said.

The Little Leaguers were the first South Mountain team ever to advance to the state tournament championship game.

This is the 14th year communities across the nation have celebrated National Night Out, but the first that the local Sheriff's Department has been involved. In addition to Boonsboro, deputies sponsored events in Williamsport on Tuesday.


Hagerstown, which has taken part the last four years, had events at Potomac Towers and asked residents throughout the city to leave their porch lights on between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Sheriff Charles F. Mades said the philosophy of the program - bringing police and citizens closer together - dovetails with the department's community policing strategy. He said logistical dilemmas prevented participation in the past.

"We really were never active in the towns like we are now," he said. "These guys just jumped at it. They want to do it again already next year."

The First Hose Co. of Boonsboro also got into the act. Volunteer firefighters shot water into the park while dozens of children dove in the mud.

Chief Oley Griffith demonstrated how to put out fires. Setting a controlled fire, firefighters allowed children to stomp it out with a fire extinguisher.

Randi Hartle, 11, of Sharpsburg, said she enjoyed "being able to try it out and see how I could do it. It was easy."

Kauffman said the National Night Out setting was an ideal platform to honor the Little League team and also to thank town residents for their patience during the town's recent water restriction.

"We just thought we'd combine the efforts, and we got a great crowd to honor these children," he said.

Steve Weaver, a star of the South Mountain team, said he appreciated the show of support.

"It was really nice. It shows how much the community cares about us," he said.

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